Hardknott Fort

Hardknott Pass – Roman Fort

Went exploring around the lake district at the weekend, ended up visiting the site of a Roman Fort that is in Cumbria beside the road from the Duddon Valley to Eskdale otherwise known as the Hardknott Pass, amazing place and road, definitely not for the faint hearted, I can honestly say I have never driven along a more daunting bit of road anywhere in the UK, I have owned cars that had turning circles so bad that they would never have made it around some of the hairpin bends, and since some of the bends are actually on one in three slopes, they are correct with the signs saying “not suitable for most vehicles”.

The fort is quite well preserved, as good as any of the Roman Fort ruins visible at Hadrian’s Wall, It dates from the AD 120 – 190 period, its about 120 meters square, three main building structures are to be seen within the walled section,and a Bath-house between the fort site and the road that passes it. Its really worth the visit, if your interested in this type of thing.

This Roman fort site is accessed only by this one road, and the Hardknott pass is officially the steepest road in England, I am not sure I would ever try to go up it in the summer, how the hell you would you manage to pass other cars on the road to the site, especially if you approach from the eastern Duddon Valley side, there are passing points, but there mostly in places that you cannot see, over the next rise or around the next corner, and once your committed to going up and around that next 30 degree sloped hairpin, if you meet someone else trying the same on the way down, your clutch is going to be in a world of pain… Really have never gone so far up a hill along the same bit of road in first gear anywhere else in the UK, so be warned… I think it would be safer and easier to visit from the Eskdale direction, which only has one or two seriously steep and bendy bits on the roadway.